After Phu Quoc, Haiphong, Dalat and Nha Trang, Can Tho in Vietnam is to welcome from April its first international regular flights.
Vietnam air transport is going from record to record each year as more airlines and air routes are added. In 2018, Vietnam’s aviation market recorded 106 million passengers, up 12.9% compared to 2017 with Vietnamese air carriers welcoming more than 50 million travellers, a growth of 14% over 2017. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the number of scheduled airline departure seats in Vietnam’s market topped 60 million in 2018, a rise of 9.9% over 2017. The largest share of traffic goes to domestic routes which generated over 71 million passengers. However, international passengers continue to grow rapidly representing now over 35 million passengers.
A total of 75 airlines offer flights to and from Vietnam including four home carriers -Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific and VASCO. In January, a new carrier, Bamboo Airways, launched its first domestic routes and is planning to start flying on international routes – particularly to Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei- before the end of the year.
One of the most interesting evolution in recent years has been the opening of more destinations to international airlines. For a long time, Vietnam only allowed international services from and to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang international airports. Since 2015, Phu Quoc in the south has welcomed international flights. In the last two years, the resort island has also been linked to Bangkok by Bangkok Airways as well as Nanning and Kunming for cities located in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Vietjet opened in 2017 and 2018 new services to Haiphong and Dalat out of Bangkok while Bangkok Airways started last year to fly from Bangkok to Cam Ranh/Nha Trang as well as between Chiang Mai and Hanoi.
Now Can Tho in Vietnam deep South will be turned into the country’s newest international destination. Low-cost AirAsia Group just announced to launch two new routes linking Can Tho to Kuala Lumpur (from April 8, four flights/week) followed by the Can Tho-Bangkok route (from May 2, three flights a week).
Can Tho is Vietnam fourth largest city with a population of 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is considered the gateway to the Mekong Delta region, a favourite spot for travellers who enjoy riding on small boats along the canals and confluence of the Mekong River, enjoy the numerous traditional floating markets, discover old pagodas and crumbling colonial villas or doing birds’ observation in the Delta area. The new flights will also provide flexibility to tour operators which can now plan short trips combining a departure to Ho Chi Minh City – a three-hour drive from Can Tho- with a return from Can Tho or vice-versa.